Mets get ‘A’ for Effort, ‘F’ for Fifth Place
by Anthony Moore
May 03, 2011 | 9116 views | 0 0 comments | 163 163 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Mets left Citi Field last week on a high note, sweeping the Diamondbacks and winning four in a row. Heading into Washington, the starters had picked up their game and rebounded nicely from their collectively rocky beginning. Thanks to the return of Jason Bay to the lineup, the team's hitting also caught fire and the Mets seemed primed to keep winning.

After losing the first home series of the season to Washington, New York returned the favor, taking the first two games at Nationals Park and fighting until the last out of the third and final game. From there, the Mets made yet another trip to the lion’s den for a three game series in Philadelphia.

Though the Mets got spanked by Philly in the opener, they split the next two games and managed to break even for the road trip, going 3-3.

Now, .500 baseball won’t get the Mets out of the hole they dug themselves into after a 2-12 stretch. But the way the Mets played and the attitude they exhibited on the road trip offers more promise than what the results would suggest.

In the second game against the Nationals - after a total team effort to win the night before - the Mets came together in the final two innings to pull off their most exciting win of the season.

Right after Jose Reyes was cheated out of a triple by the third base umpire, Daniel Murphy hit a pinch hit home run to tie the game at two runs. Then, down a run again in the top of the ninth, the Mets put four on the board to beat Washington 6-3.

In the Philadelphia series, it was the pitching that stepped up. After a flu-ridden Pelfrey gave an underwhelming performance (again) to open the series, both Jon Niese and Chris Young did their part to keep the Mets in each game. The bullpen essentially matched the effort of the two starters, allowing only one inherited run and one earned run over the 9.1 innings pitched in that span.

With the exception of the Philly opener - which really can be blamed on manager Terry Collins, who should have known better than to send his struggling ace to the mound when he’s still recovering from illness - New York made every game close, often scoring late in the game when the pressure was on.

It seemed as if each win was due to contributions from a different group of players each time; guys stepped up, wanting to be the hero, wanting to do their part.

When Terry Collins took the job as manager, he promised that this team would not lose on effort and that they would play hard for all 27 outs. So far, these Mets have lived up to that promise and it has been a pleasant change from recent years.

Appreciating their effort will only last so long, however.

While it’s a nice idea that a group of underdogs can come together and collectively perform better than expected, it doesn’t mean a whole lot when the other four teams in the division still out perform them.

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